Fantec TV-LHD Media Player – An alternative?
It seems that some manufacturer are going to launch new streaming-clients on the market. I think, to potential for the massmarket is only touching the tip of the iceberg! This time, the german Fantec GmbH (Hamburg) releases a new one: The Fantec TV-LHD Media Player! It plays films, music and videos via USB, an external hard drive (FAT32/NTFS) or, and that’s a big advantage over the WDTV, via network stream! All in FullHD (yes: 1080p MKV h.264!) and all over codecs included! Can this be a real WDTV alternative?
The specs are impressive and remind me of those from WD (the name: Fantec TV-LHD <– L for LAN, the rest is more or less all about the same, like power power consumption or the size), but he comes with LAN support and coaxial output! You can find the manual here, there are also screenshots included from the menues. Fantec’s TV-LHD is listed in Germany for approximately 133 Euro (e.g. Geizhals.at/de), the delivery is estimated for next week!
More highlights: Besides the normal standards (AVI, MPG,…) there is support for*.mp4.tp, *.trp, *.ts, *.m3t, *.m3t, *.m2ts and *.ifo-files (!), VC-1, SUB (mit IDX), FLAC und M4A! The LHD uses a Sigma Design EM8623L Chip, which is installed in other players like the „HDTV-Praxis“ winner DVICO TViX-HD M-4100U. This means: no problem with 1080p/h.264/MKV (however: the LHD seems to have only 128MB SDRAM and 16MB ROM) and (probably) DTS downsampling included (Update 05/30/2009, thx to Björn). I can’t wait to see what time will bring! 🙂
The rear side:
Update 06/18/2009: Last week-end I had a look on this WDTV alternative. First impressions:
– menue is quite good, easy and fast!
– fast recognition of all my storage devices via LAN
– 1080p via LAN is impossible (stuttering, signal break off,…). From plugged-in devices (USB or HDD) there are a lot of problems (out of sync, sound juddering,…).
– 720p with little problems (LAN or HDD), some files are not working (too much reframes?)
– does not find all the video-content that the WDTV plays
– easy network configuration
Till now, it’s not perfect. Not bad for a new challenger, but WDTV performs better and can access via LAN with a custom firmware the same way. I probably wait a little bit, to see if Fantec provides a good FW support.
Conclusion until now: “For 720p ok. But I’m using a FullHD TV and that’s why I continue searching for other alternatives!”